Solar Builder

SEP-OCT 2017

Solar Builder focuses on the installation/construction of solar PV systems. We cover the latest PV technology (modules, mounting, inverters, storage, BOS) and equip installers/contractors with tips and tools to make informed purchasing decisions.

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Page 17 of 55

I n its early days, the U.S. resi- dential solar market was domi- nated by high-volume buyers like Sunrun, Solar City and Vivint, which means they bought most of the equipment, with the remaining market being served through distribution channels. But big-time growth going forward in the residential solar segment will be driven by the local installer, and the growth of that local installer market will come through greater simplici- ty, in both process and systems. That's how we see it at least, and that's the thesis driving a new PV electronics platform from Empower Micro Systems, a technology com- pany that is currently licensing its new patented solar platform to larger established brands. "With more financing options available, there is just not a huge advantage in being larger," says Mika Nuotio, CEO of Empower Micro Systems. "The system is col- lapsing. Hyper regionalized deploy- ment is coming. The vast majority is from installers, sold through dis- tribution." So, if smaller companies gravitat- ing toward simple solutions is the operating assumption, Nuotio says SKU consolidation is one of the most important goals to shoot for — reducing inventory costs and inventory turns makes an installer's job easier and more profitable. "In particular in solar, if you sit on inventory for a month or two, you are eroding your profit margin and reselling that equipment. Fast inventory turns make things much easier," Nuotio says. "Installers are in the service business. They need transactional efficiency. When we designed our technology, we looked at the whole value chain from man- ufacturers through distributors to homeowners. What's the technolo- gy that streamlines everything?" bos Empower details its new, simplified platform for residential PV architecture By Chris Crowell PARED-DOWN POWER ELECTRONICS PowerHub 18 S E P T E M B E R / O C TO B E R 2 0 1 7

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